McDonald County spoiled the home volleyball opener for Cassville on Monday night. Led by dominating senior Darien Stancell, the Lady Mustangs dropped the Lady Wildcats in straight sets, 25-14 and 25-23.
"We looked good at times," said Cassville's Jerry Schneider. "The girls played hard, and served pretty well. We competed with them, but we need a go-to hitter in clutch situations."
Cassville led 2-0 to start the first set behind Christina Willard's serve, but McDonald County forged in front, 5-2. The Lady Wildcats regained the lead at 6-5 on a drop shot by Sydney Curnes but then fell behind 6-8.
Four times, the Cassville girls pulled within a single point, but they would not tie or lead again in this set. With Stancell patrolling the net, the Lady Mustangs cruised to an 11-point win.
In the second set, Cassville looked more poised and focused. When Rhiannon Miller hit a screamer for a winner, the home team took a 4-2 early lead. McDonald County squeezed ahead 7-5, and then the game turned into a point-by-point battle.
The lead alternated between one and two points for a number of possessions, but the visitors pulled ahead 14-10. Cassville fought back to a 17-17 tie when a Stancell rocket went long over the baseline.
With Miller serving, the Ladycats took a 20-18 lead, but McDonald County stormed back to retake the advantage, 21-20. Keisha Corn scored with a drop shot, Rachel Sanders scored with a block, and the Lady Mustangs hit long, as Cassville regained the lead, 23-21.
But McDonald County scored the final four points of the match, with Kenzie Dill whipping an ace for the game winner, 25-23.
Cassville won the JV contest in straight sets, 2-0.